Monday, March 12, 2012

What a Difference A Year Makes

Once Upon a Time, a very, very good and caring therapist told a recovering wreck to keep a journal in the media of her choice in order to use as a tool for self-assessment.  The recovering wreck decided on a blog - her idea being that she'd write stuff down and it would be "out there" for the world to see - but since no one was really going to read it, it wasn't that big a deal. 

Of course, she turned out to be wrong about everything.

So somehow, I've managed to keep this journal for a year.  I didn't think, initially, I'd last a month.  So a year is pretty good.

And what a difference a year makes eh?

THEN - I was a completely non-observant Jew who didn't care a whit for Judaism.

NOW  - I am a semi-observant Jew trying to find a permanent place within Judaism.

THEN - My best friend was about to enter a really dark tunnel for the third time - a tunnel that even she didn't think she was coming out of.

NOW - She seems to have come out the other side, certainly worse for wear, but improving every single day.  And, for the first time in a while, there's actual hope.

THEN - I looked at all frum Jews the same - they were all a bunch of hypocritical assholes who didn't practice what they preached or, even worse, believed every single word of their insanity.

NOW - I see that frum Jews, like everyone else, are diverse and even good people.  Just kidding about the "even".

THEN - I had a shit relationship with my mother, and the relationship with my dad was on life support at best.

NOW - I still have a shit relationship with my mother (hey, this isn't a fairy tale) but my relationship with my dad has improved dramatically, as has my relationship with my older brother.

THEN - I was about to be single (again) and the only real relationship I'd ever had with a guy was the one I had with my aforementioned therapist.

NOW - I'm engaged to be married this summer to the most wonderful guy ever.

How much of that has to do with the journal?  Well not that much - BUT:

  It has helped provide a lens with which I have used to view the change.  I re-read alot much  of what I've written in the last year and I can see a change that has taken place.  Where I have been, dare I say, jaded? in the past, I feel much more of a sense of openness and optimism about things.  Even things I was so sure of in the past.  So the journal has served its purpose.

  I've been exposed to many Jews - I've read their own journals, I've spent time chatting with them - and I feel that has helped me gain a tremendous amount of perspective about observant Jews:

 - the ones who are strongly observant yet still struggle with their Judaism  - showing me that it's not one or the other - it can be both.

 - the ones who have shown me that not everyone who lives in the South is slow-witted (just kidding!!).

 - the ones whose writing has touched my soul.

 - the ones who have shared a similar journey to my own, who are still effected by it, but have managed to carve out places for themselves in the world despite of it.

 - the girls who share my love of all things Ice and Fire - and who made it ok for me to embrace my inner-geekness.

 - the ones who have tested my patience but in the end it was all good.

 - the ones who have provided me with outstanding ears to listen as well as wonderful advice - all without pushing too hard to break past the barriers I've set up to keep a level of anonymity.

 - the ones who let me be silly with them when I needed it, or listened to me bitch and whine when I needed it, who made me laugh when i needed it and who sagely told me I was being an idiot when that was called for too.

Yes, it's been quite a year.  I've struggled, I've fallen back, I climbed back up and to a large extent I've overcome.  It's actually been a great year.  And this journal has acted as a record of it for me.  Bless you Dr. Therapist.  Another feather in your cap vis a vis me.

So I don't know if blog anniversaries are a big deal or not, but I shall mark this one anyway.  A year in the life of a former recovering wreck  - now just a girl in the world. 

Who knows what the next year will bring?


  1. Slow witted!!!
    congrats cymbaline!! this definitely deserves to be celebrated! May this coming year bring you to bigger and better things!

  2. Yashar Koach. To many more years of growth!

  3. Happy blog anniversary! I can't wait to see where you are in another year.

  4. oh boy i remember way back in the beginning.... not a great start. Happy to see you lasted a year! Good luck to you and many more great years, blogging or not.

  5. Oh, man. I was totally going to thank you for not abusing the cute helpless alot, but then came the disrespect. Tut-tut, my dear. Tut-tut. Also, alot thanks for lack of abuse.